How many defecting troops and high insiders have attested to Assad's crimes? Are they all Al Queda?


by FG

The FSA has 60,000 members and is growing.  It's ranks include military defectors and civiians.  High-level defectors can describe Assad's direct orders.  Thousands of soldiers to crimes they witnessed first hand or were ordered to carry out at gunpoint.  Most armor and artillery forces woud desert tomorrow if not for vulnerability to air power. The regime has learned not to engage in close-up urban combat because of the certainty of mass defections. 

Who defects? Men who despise the crimes they've witnessed or been ordered to commit. Who do they despise?  Assad and his inner circle. The shabiha.  Commanders loyal to Assad who threaten them at gunpoint or who shoot shot their comrades for having attempted to leave.

People always say that Assad has burned all bridges behind him with such crimes.  We fail to consider that's just as true for tens of thousands of defectors familiar with the regime's vindictiveness and the low value of its promises.   These men have no choice but to fight until it is over or die. Their second motivator is deep and often personal similar to that the Nazis reaped everywhere in Europe as the end approached.  Almost every single defector has lost family members, close friends, neighbors, homes and businesses to the regime's brutality.  You don't need Al Queda to make you hate such a regime.  Can it top personal hatred.  That's the downside of Assad's tactics--making enemies forever.

If we must believe anyone, why believe the regime's denials when you consider the diverse evidence against it?  Would alldefectors lie?   Would journalist from so many different countries team up in a giant plot to slander the regime epecially where they've had direct acces to its crimes? Has the UN assisted these lies?  Why do all those planes, helicopters and artillery always target communities where the regime is notably unpopular?  Who owns that equipment if not Assad's regime?  Common sense tells anyone that regime capable of indiscriminately bombing civilians or torturing tens of thousands would not hesitate at mass execution of military-age civiiians and some of their family members.  Why not?

Frashogar woiuld have us believe that all 60,000 FSA members have been converted to Al-Queda's viewpoint, along with a vastly larger supporting population.  Frashogar tells us General Tlass and other general who had an inside view of Assad's crimes and orders are "lying for Al Queda."  Other liars who attest to such crimes include hundreds of  other officers ranging from lieutenants to lieutenant colonels and tens of thousands of former regime non-coms.  "All lie," says the regime.    Is that claim credible considering what we've seen from the source?

Military defectors had front row seats at more than one atrocity.   Tlass and other high-up insiders can describe the regime's orders, plans and intentions. I'd love to see regime apologists rebut this post.


more from FG

Twelve killed in car bombing at Damascus funeral (ROUNDUP)

by FG on

Attack on funerals?   Neither Assad nor Khamenei can complain about that, having done their own share.

Women and children killed in bombing?  You mean like the ones the Al Mahdi army killed in Iraq, using IEDs and training courtesy of Al Quds.  Or like the opposition women and childen killed daily by regime bombs and executioners. 



Today at nine in the morning we found five bodies who were freshly killed in al-Qadam district near Aisha mosque. Their bodies were still bleeding. They had been slaughtered with knives and shot at close distance. Two of the bodies had smashed heads. There are many [government] checkpoints at the outskirts of al-Qadam district. Most of the people disappeared at these checkpoints.

This is not the first time we have found bodies. During August, we have found more than 25 – sometimes four, sometimes six [at a time]. The discovery of these slaughtered bodies made the people in al-Qadam district flee to another areas in fear of their lives. The population is more than 300,000 people but for two weeks now 90% of the people have fled. People are scared of repeated massacres. The big problem we have here is that al-Qadam district is surrounded by Alawite districts.

What we started to have here … people who are off work would be arrested or kidnapped by [pro-government] People's Committees based at the outskirts of the district. They would disappear for two or three days, and then we discovered the bodies at night.

The five bodies we found today are of men aged between 25 and 45. People were able to identify two of them, a body belonging to Anass Ahmed and another, of Ziyad Abdulwah al-Masseri.--The Guardian


According to the VDC database, since Sunday, August 19th, a total of 667 civilians and only 11 non civilians were killed in the Damascus region. Compare this with the 1480 civilians and 152 non civilians killed nationally, and it's clear that the civilians, not the insurgents, are still the targets of the attacks around the capital.--Enduring America


Syria rebels dream of weapons to down aircraft




Iran Said to Send Troops to Bolster Syria

by FG on

Commanders and Hundreds of Elite Soldiers Deployed

to Damascus, Members Say, as Deepening Conflict Worries Key Ally




An Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander has stated that Iran has sent armed forces and "basij" paramilitary into Syria, and will send additional forces:

Iran is now sending hundreds of rank-and-file members of the IRGC and the Basij — a plainclothes volunteer militia answering to the Guards — to Damascus....

Many of the Iranian troops hail from IRGC units outside Tehran, these people say, particularly from Iran's Azerbaijan and Kurdistan regions where they have experience dealing with ethnic separatist movements. They are replacing low-ranking Syrian soldiers who have defected to the Syrian opposition, these people said, and mainly assume non-fighting roles such as guarding weapons caches and helping to run military bases.

Iran is also deploying IRGC commanders to guide Syrian forces in battle strategy and Quds commanders to help with military intelligence, Mr. Sazegara and the current IRGC members said.


1. Does it strike anyone as hypocritcal that Putin and Iran complain of foreign countries aiding the opposition while foreign countries are aiding and assisting Assad in his slaughter of Syria's people?

2. Given Iranian and Russian assistance to Assad and given the recent increase in atrocities, isn't it time for the USA to send similar assistance to the rebels--anti-tank, anti-air, predators and Special Force units armed with anti-air equipment.

3. In event of #2, both the regime's force and IRI help will suffer substantial casualties via urban warfare.  The first can expect major defections as well, while Khamenei can expect trouble at home.




Notice Frashogar's tricks. Watch me as I take him to class

by FG on

RE:  Why are America, Britian and their NATO allies supporting Islamist takeovers of secular governments...

Frshogar's question treats as fact an unproven premise--restating in another guise his dubious claim that "the opposition is only Al Queda." In logic, that technique is known as "begging the question." Note the fairness of my questions by contrast.  I rely on facts even Frashogar can't dispute such as Tlass' defection."  Since such facts contradict his wild assertions, I ask him to explain.  He ducks like Romney. 

Re: So why is America/Britian supporting Saudi/Qatar and Turkey who are attempting to overturn a system in Syria which institutionalized the separation of church and state with one in which Salafi Islamists would dominate.

Frashogar manages to beg the question three times in one paragraph!

#1: Frashogar states AS FACT that we are "supporting" theSaudis.  

This is akin to charging the USA supported Stalinism in World War II simply because we were "allies of convenience" against a common enemy. That in no sense suggests we had common postwar goals obviously.  This is why the closer Hitler came to defeat, the more the alliance began to fray.  

Also note an implicit lie in this allegation: It is the Syrian people, not outsiders, who are tryig to overthrown r the dictator. Frashogar acts as if the  latter had no interest whatsoever in getting rid of Assad.   That claim is laughable.

#2: Frashogar states AS FACT we are "supporting Islamists."

Wrong, as in World War II we are supporting democracy, though in alliance with other nations that may have undemocratic goals for Syria.

Frashogar implies the only choice the people in the Middle East should have is between fascism and Islamist rule. Tell that to the Iranians who want neither.  Why can't people have a third choice: secular rule with full democracy?  Surely that beats secular rule under a Mafia-style dictatorship.

I've already explained in a post below that the Baathist Party, modeled on Hitler's Nazi Party, is religious in a secular sense as is communism.  Such parties tend to be hostile to western democracies as radical Islamists.  Recall how Hitler despised western democracies. 

Notice the double hypocrisy in Frashogar's complaints compainsts about Islamists.  Like his idols (Putin and Assad), Frashogar finds no contradiction in supporting a hated and brutal Islamist regime in Iraq.  In Lebanon, he supports hard line Islamists (Hezbollah) simply because the latter is a Shia version of Al Queda.   Exactly like the Saudis are doing to Assad now,  did not Assad use, arm and encourage Islamist jihadis, including Al Queda, to attack American, their Sunni opponent and thousands of civilians (Sunni and Shia) in Iraq?  If such interference was OK then, why is it "wrong" now?

Why should Frashogar complain?  He adored jihadis previously so long as they served as Assad's proxies elsewhere.   Can Frashogar dispute that we "owe one to both Assad and Khamenei.  If we helped Assad to survive,  would he not do the same thing to us again? 

I notice two critical differences in jihadi behavior in Syria now compared to Iraq then.  Their numbers are far less and--so far at least--they have not targeted civilians. Sorry but crimes committed by beard-wearing shahiba accompaned by armored regime protectors do not count as jihadi crimes.

#3: Frashogfar states AS FACT "Salafis will dominate" after Assad

Name one post-Arab Spring country Salafis have "dominated" as Frashogar claims.  Even in Egypt where they got the most votes Salafis have not managed to do so.  In Syria with so much secular experience it resembles Tunisia, how popular would they be?  Many factors, cultural and economic make limit their appeal and in democracy you've got to win at the polls.


Assuming your real concern is not saving Assad (too late for that) but preventing a hypothetical radical Islamist triumph after Assad's fall, the best way to prevent that is to get rid of him and his regime as quickly as possible. Every day he stays in power and ever atrocity he commits, obviously aids the jihadi appeal and obviously enables the arrival of more jihadis each day.

Oust Assad and you WILL get democracy though you may or may not have to settle for a Muslim Brotherhood president.  The chances of Salafis winning any free election in Syria look extremely poor.

For most Syrians that outcome beats a secular/facsist dictatorship with streams of blood on its hands.  Electoral contraints will encourage moderation unless the MB want to pay a price at the polls.  After this conflict, the Brotherhood knows that it can't rely on force to survive otherwise.  It will have seen what happened to Assad.


To Rea: Who advocated secular dictatorships?

by FG on

No one except AmirforSecularMonarchy, who has deplored the fall of all recent regional dictators and blames the West for it, especially the US, giving us too much credit.  

That's all nonsense of course.  Amir thinks that secular alone is enough to satisfy people and human rights or systems in which people have the final say are unnecessary.

Many secular dictatorships are ideology based (communism, fascism) and hence secular religions with their own "holy books" (Mein Kampt, the Communist Manifesto, etc.), clergy (party members) and gods (the heads of government whose portraits are everywhere (much like crucifixes).   Belief is obligatory.  

The rest are authoritarian secular governments as in Egypt under Mubarek.  They tend to be corrupt but less intrusive than ideological or religious-based systems because they have less interest in controlling all aspects of life.

What we advocate is democracy based on secular humanism and separation of church and state.  Wherever religion gets political power it's always a disaster and corrupts the clerics involved.  Religion based governments not only lead to tyranny but to sectarian feuds as well.  It's better is religion is a private matter and best of all if religion were simply to disappear peacefully with people growing up and maturing.   




by Frashogar on

But this doesn't answer the main question: why are America, Britian and their NATO allies supporting Islamist takeovers of secular governments in the Arab world?


Secular government can be

by Rea on

..... as dictatorial as a theocratic one. For the sake of illustration, Cuba n IRI.

To avoid back and forth, out of here.


Totally agree, ditto!

by Frashogar on

So why is America/Britian supporting Saudi/Qatar and Turkey who are attempting to overturn a system in Syria which institutionalized the separation of church and state with one in which Salafi Islamists would dominate? Ask yourself, does anything about the Arab Spring make any sense? Secular authoritarian governments overthrown by masses wanting freedom and participatory systems/democracy instead for systems dominated by Islamists who would impose shar'ia and hudud?!

There is something seriously wrong with this picture, folks. Stop beating the drumbeat of Uncle Sam's line about the so-called Arab Spring and ask the appropriate question as to what in the heck is really going on here!


Getting rid od religion, good for them

by Rea on

Institutionalized religion is not needed, certainly not in the public sphere.

Faith, if needed, should be a private, intimate matter. Not exposed in shop windows or written into laws.


How to manufacture "revolution"

by Frashogar on

 Britain and US plan a Syrian revolution from an innocuous office block in Istanbul


"Dozens of dissidents have been ferried out of Syria to be vetted for
foreign backing. Recipients of the aid are given satellite
communications & computers so that they can act as a local 'hub'
linking local activists & the outside world.

training takes place in an Istanbul district where handsome apartment
blocks line the steep slopes & rooftop terraces boast views over the
Golden Horn waterway."


"The schemes are
overseen by the US State Department's Office of Syrian Opposition
Support (OSOS) & Foreign Office officials. America has set aside $25
million for political opponents of President Bashar al-Assad while
Britain is granting £5 million to the cause of overthrowing the regime.

"Mina al-Homsi (a pseudonym) is one of the first graduates of the training.

"She now spends her days plotting how to spread seditious messages
throughout her homeland through her own network, named Basma.

"One of its main activities is to repackage video shot by amateurs into a format that can be used by broadcasters.

"In addition to running online television & radio forums, the Basma
team have had 'tens of thousands' of satirical stickers depicting
President Bashar al-Assad as a featherless duck for distribution as


"Victoria Nuland, the State
Department spokesman, confirmed the OSOS programme last week & said
its full effect would only be seen when President Assad leaves office.

" 'There are groups inside & outside Syria beginning to plan for
that day-after & beginning to plan for how they might quickly stand
up at least that first stage of transition so that we could move on when
Assad goes, because he will go.' "



The young of Ireland, Iran & Russia turn against religion

by FG on

RUSSIA:In desecration of crosses, Russia's Orthodox church sees dark warning



Not Iranian youth who blame Islamic rule for Social Police, lack of democracy, lack of cultural freedom and lack of human rights.   Rare is the young Iranian who prays five times a day.

Clerics are scorned and the social police hatred.  No one had done more to discredit Islam among so many muslims than Khamenei--especially since 2009.   What heavenly irony! 

While Sunnis lag behind the people of Iran when it comes to wising up about religion, they are getting there gradually.   As among the Sunnis, the most disenchanted Sunnis are those who have directly experienced extreme Islamist rule under Al-Queda or Salafi offshoots. 


CBS "60 Minutes" recently reported on the effect of the blowback consequences after the Irish learned the extent of pedophelia in the church and how every high cleric except one bishhop enabled it by covering up over decades. 

In some parishes attendance has dropped from 90% in the early seventies to two percent today.   A country which once exported priests, is now short on staff.   So many priests have been dismissed or arrested and no one wants to enter the priesthood.  A seminary which recently had 120 candidates in a year now has ten. 


Churches and cathedrals are empty on Sundays. 


Since 1970 the number of Americans who identify themselve as "non-religious has climbed from three percent to 20 percent.   That's a 700 percent increase. 

I hate to agree with Karl Marx on anything but he was right when he wrote, "Religion is the opium of the people."  Where would the GOP be without fundamentalists, billionaires Babbitt-style merchants and cranky old whites who once voted for George Wallace and loved the KKK?   Let's not forget cult leader L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, who once said, "If you want to get rich, start a religion."

All of the above cases are a reaction against the excesses of wealth-seeking, power seeking clerics who always side with tyrants like Putin.


Read the article

by Frashogar on

And you'll get your 8 questions and more. But your boss Hillary has already determined the incorrect answers for you.


Told yah so! Frashogar evaded my 8 questions.

by FG on

How could he?  When you cannot rebut, divert.

 Like Galloway in England, Fisk gets no respect for self-evident reasons.  Also, which of my eight questions does he answer?  Not one that I can see.  


You are either completely asleep or are willfully lying

by Frashogar on

Now as much as I dislike Robert Fisk he answers every last one of your points. The challenge is met //

Goodbye! Tell your boss Hillary Clinton I think she looks like a fat ogre.



by FG on

Confronted with massive evidence to the contrary, Frashogar merely side steps and repeats the same generality endlessly. Observe how the poor soul never offers a stitch of supporting evidence.  His argument boils down to, "Take my word for it.  It's true."  Sorry, dear boy, but that will never do. 

Frashogar's technique emulates Goebbels' approach to propaganda: "Repeat a big lie often enough and it will be believed." Not so. The problem for regimes that choose this approach rather than siimpy reporting the truth, setbacks and all, as the BBC did in WWII is that the the Goebbels approach only works so long as things are going well.  Used on other occasions, it forfeits credibility beyond recall.  

After Stalingrad, D-Day and Kursk, what happened to the potency of "We're winning!" and "Victory is at hand?"  Why does the whole world laugh when Khamenei declares, "Everyone admires the Islamic Republic.," "Our model inspired the Arab Spring," "The economy is doing so great othe nations come to us for tips" and "The people are rallying around the beloved Supreme Leader?"


Answer these seven questions one by one if you can.  

1. How can all of the following be telling lies: UN obervers, miscellaneous journalists, defecting officers and men?

2. Can all 60,000 FSA members be Al Queda wahabbis or just a few hundred?

3. Is General Tlass really an Al Queda stooge?  Can the same also be true of 30 of Assad's defected generals?  

4. Why would the Syrian people NEED Al Queda to make them hate Assad?

5. If not Assad, who owns those planes, tanks, artillery and copters involved in indiscriminate bombing of civilians and their property.

6. If the FSA wanted to massacre civilians how could it manage to do so in areas fully occupied by Assad's forces with no FSA presence?

7. Why would the FSA always choose friendly communities to target when there are better choices available?  

8. Why do you speak of "NATO PROPAGANDA" when Nato isn't even involved...YET?.  (For the many sources of accusation against Assad, see question #1) 


NATO manufactured propaganda

by Frashogar on

There is not a single item of truth or fact you have posted here. It is all NATO propaganda stage-managed by the Qataris through Aljazeera and the Saudis. Even Fisk no longer buys this shameless disinformation and has conceded the bulk of the FSA are in fact al-Qaeda mercenaries. 

Shame on you for beating your chest for a bunch of murderous Wahhabi Islamist terrorists!



Also of interest

by FG on

Atrocity on a new scale? Syrians piece together story of Daraya massacre

The Syrian opposition is disseminating video footage from the town of Daraya this weekend that tells of a government massacre that may have left more than 600  people dead. 


New video footage has provided graphic evidence of a massacre reportedly committed by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Damascus suburb of Daraya.  If reports from the London-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights of more than 300 dead are confirmed, "it would be an atrocity of a new scale" in the Syrian conflict, a British diplomat warned....

The Local Coordination Committees activist group said that some 150 bodies were found Saturday night in the basement of a mosque in what seems to be the largest single killing site, though additional sites continue to be found – another 15 bodies were found in the basement of a home on Sunday.  The LCC puts the death toll for the week in Daraya at more than 630....

The AP adds that the regime's campaign in Dayara is being carried out by an elite division of the military led by President Assad's brother, Maher.  Although it is unclear what prompted the campaign, the AP notes that Daraya abuts the capital's military airport, which activists say Assad intends to use as a gateway out of Damascus should the situation turn fully against the regime...


Where would he fly?  Who woud accept him?    Iran?  

That unpopular regime would face enough problems with Assad's fall possibly inspiring Iranians.  To allow Assad refuge as more details of his vast crimes emerge will damage the regime inside and out.

Why not Russia?  

I wouldn't be surprised if any new Syrian government terminates all relations and trade with Russia.  Having supported Assad's crimes, Putin will have made himself a total pariah in the Middle East where his only friendly power will be an incrreasingly unstable Iran.  Can Putin aggravate muslims further by sheltering Assad as the dimensions of his crimes and Russia involvement are exposed?

ITEM: The Taliban have beheaded 17 partygoers who were caught listening to music and gender mixiing.  

No wonder so many muslims who have experienced Islamist rule have come to despise the whole idea.  Iranians are not alone.


ITEM:Syrian helicopter downed in Damascus clashes


ITEM:  Report: Iran could open military site to visits

Iran could allow representatives from nonaligned nations to visit a military site that the U.N. nuclear watchdog suspects has housed nuclear experiments.

The Problem: This guys would have as little idea of what to look for as the average pedestrian on any street in the world.



A typical defector vividly describes what it was like

by FG on


In April 2010, Emad was called up for his mandatory army service. When the revolution broke out in March 2011, he was deployed to various parts of the country—but it was his time in Homs, where he was sent on December 31, 2011, that compelled him to leave his unit. Sometimes called the ‘capital of the revolution,’ the restive city in western Syria had been under siege by the regime of Bashar al-Assad since May and was the site of some of its bloodiest crackdowns. Emad describes indiscriminate killing and widespread looting by fellow soldiers, as well as an incident that deeply affected him, when an unarmed truck driver shot in the arm and legs was left to bleed to death in front of him. Ordered to fire on protesters at demonstrations, he says he aimed away.

“I was ready to die after what I had seen and been through,” he says. “I don’t want to oppress anyone.” He eventually bribed an officer 20,000 Syrian pounds (approximately $300) for a three-day vacation leave. On January 26, Emad left and never returned, making his way back home to Zabadani.

Emad is just one of thousands of army defectors who are switching sides...


“The military power is so disproportionate, there was no way the revolt could have sustained itself and re-emerged time and again, despite the regime’s brutality, if it wasn’t for a vast network of support inside the country.” Indeed, foreign assistance has not trickled into towns like Zabadani, where FSA fighters have had to rely primarily on local resources. Numerous rebels describe selling family jewelry to buy weapons. They remain poorly equipped, armed mostly with assault rifles and some RPGs with limited stocks of ammunition. 



How the Syrian Revolution Became Militarized Sharif Abdel Kouddous